New Corinth Baptist

Sumter County
Photography by Steve Robinson

Built in c.1884, the church is a one-story, gable-front building set on brick piers and covered with weatherboard. The front and parts of the side elevations are clad in beveled novelty siding. The main facade features a double-leaf entrance with modern wood doors and concrete-block steps. Five, six-over-six-light sash windows surround the entrance. A small apse is located on the west end. During the 1980s, the original windows that existed along the sides were replaced with oneover-one-light sash windows. The roof is clad in sheet metal.

Congregation members were baptized in Philema Creek, which is located along the north side of the property. A concrete-block baptismal, the only noncontributing property associated with this nomination, was built near the creek in the early 1980s.

William Walter Hooks, one of Georgia’s leading cotton planters, purchased in 1854 the land on which New Corinth Baptist Church now stands. Oral history of the congregation indicates that the congregation was founded in c.1870 and that William Hooks built the church at that time using local lumber from his own nearby mill, for which Hooks Mill Road is named. The congregation comprised Hooks’ laborers and their families. Minutes of the Southwestern Baptist Association report that the congregation, known as New Corinth, was formed in 1884 with 144 members. New Corinth Baptist Church most likely split from Corinth Baptist Church, which had 160 members. By 1894, 294 communicants were listed for New Corinth, making it one of the largest Baptist churches in South Georgia.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a school was founded at the church that served all primary grades. The school was disbanded in the 1940s. This is identified on land-ownership maps of 1910 in which “New Corinth Ch. & School” are depicted. The church is also documented in a deed in 1928 that refers to a”… colored church and graveyard known as New Corinth.